Frustrations Of A World War One Hero’s Granddaugher

The granddaughter of a World War One hero is furious with church officials for building a shed over the grave of her grandfather.

Her grandfather, Private Walter Perrywas wounded and died of septicaemia at the age of 34 while fighting for his country at the Battle of Givenchy in France. He signed up with the military in November 1914, got injured in December and died in January 1915 –about 2-3 months after joining the army.

With this month/year marking the centenary commemorations of the Great War and honour being bestowed on many World War One’s heros, Mrs Dallas hopes appropriate recognition will be given to his grandfather as well.

Due to the shed, the World War One hero’s grave lookrundown as it is covered in bottles, garbage and human faeces. The first time the family noticed the brick triangular building was in 1964 when Mrs Dallas mother (Winifred Chandler) went to visit her father’s grave. Ann Dallas, who is now 72 has been visiting his grandfather’s grave since she was a child and remembered how upset her mother was when she visited the grave 64 years ago and saw the shed. To create space for the shed, the builders even went ahead to move Private Perry’s headstone without asking for his family’s approval.

Amy, the widow of Private Perry who happens to be Mrs Dallas grandmother – bought an adjoining land to his husband’s grave so she could be buried close to him. But because the shed took over her plot, she was buried miles away from her husband and other family memebers buried in that area. Amy passed on in 1954 and was buried in Reading, Berkshire.

Mrs Dallas finds it distressing that a World War One hero like his father who died fighing for his country is being treated that way. She’s the 3rd generation of her family that has been trying to resolve the problem with the church without successs. In 2006 when Ann’s mom passed away at the age of 93, she promised her she’ll keep on the struggle to save his grandfather’s grave. But till date, all pleas to the church officials to remove the rickety structure has been fruitless, the Mail Online reports.

Milton Keynes South Conservative MP, Iain Stewart has joined force with Mrs Dallas and has promised to act as a go-between between Ann’s family and St Mary’s Church to find a solution to the problem.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE